Joel Schumacher directed two Batman movies, one much better than the other. Batman Forever was a fun mess, Batman & Robin was just a straight-up mess. Schumacher nearly directed a third Caped Crusader movie, Batman Unchained, but Warner Bros. said thanks but no thanks to Mark Protosevich’s script, which “dealt with Batman learning to conquer fear and to confront the demons of his past” (so original!), after the world rejected George Clooney’s perky nipples.
It’s a shame Unchained was never made, because it sounds wonderfully ridiculous. Clooney and his Robin, Chris O’Donnell, were set to star, with return performances from Jack Nicholson (the Joker) Danny DeVito (the Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman), Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face), and Jim Carrey (the Riddler). Also, Nicolas Cage would have played Scarecrow, or in Schumacher’s words to the Hollywood Reporter, “It was going to be very dark. I remember going to the set of Face/Off and asking Nic Cage to play the Scarecrow.”
What a train wreck. Speaking of: Courtney Love was considered for the role of Harley Quinn.
The standout character of the film would have been Harley Quinn, who in the end finds redemption for her villainous ways. She was to be complex, conflicted and ultimately a good person underneath. While the casting process never got off the ground, Protosevich’s agents at CAA set him up for lunch with Courtney Love, who was also repped by the agency and was interested in getting an acting career going.
“I think she had heard about the possibility of Harley Quinn being in the new Batman and was thinking she would be good for it,” says Protosevich. “But we didn’t really talk about that. We talked about a lot of other things. It was certainly one of the better lunches I’ve ever had in my career in show business.” (Via the Hollywood Reporter)
A late 1990s Joel Schumacher Batman movie with Nic Cage and Courtney Love? I haven’t been this disappointed in a film not being made since Tim Burton’s Superman Lives with… Nic Cage. Pity all the poor Bone Thugs-n-Harmony songs on the soundtrack we were deprived.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)